Getting rooftop solar panels is the environmentally — and financially — responsible thing to do, especially in Arizona, the proven sunniest state in the country.
But oftentimes, the initial cost of solar panels and their installation can keep many from being able to afford them. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) has a plan to change this.
If approved, a plan would allow 3,000 customers to install solar panels without any cost, as well as send them a $30 credit each month for the duration of the 20-year program.
APS also plans to partner with reputable local installers, selecting them through a competitive bidding process, in order to support businesses within Arizona.
Clearly, a program of this size and scope has many smaller elements to help it function successfully. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about the proposed program:
RESIDENTIAL ROOFTOP SOLAR PROGRAM FAQS
1. How will participants be selected?
The program will be limited to approximately 3,000 customers. APS is partnering with reputable installers who will ensure all participating customer rooftops meet specific requirements.
2. Will there be a wait list?
No, there will not be a wait list. APS filed the request for the program as an option for the Arizona Corporation Commission on July 28. Pending approval, APS customers can visit aps.com/azsun for more information about the program.
3. Who will be doing the installation?
APS is partnering with Arizona solar installers for the program, keeping jobs and money in the state.
4. Will you need approval from both customers if you have a joint account?
5. Would a landlord qualify for the program?
Yes, but both the landlord and tenant would need to agree to and sign up for the program.
6. Can a tenant request to be part of this program with landlord approval?
Yes, if both the tenant and landlord agree to be a part of the program.
7. Can I have multiple homes included in the program?
The program is available to all eligible APS customers.
8. Can I participate in other energy efficiency programs if I choose to host solar panels?
Yes, you can participate in other APS energy efficiency programs.
9. I own a commercial building, can I participate?
Currently, the program is open only to single-family homes.
10. How will status updates be communicated?
Because APS owns the solar panels, all updates will be done through APS.
1. Why is APS proposing this program?
Planning the future of Arizona’s energy future is APS’s top priority. This program will provide more options for APS customers to receive energy to power their lives. This program allows APS to partner with its customers and local installers to bring more solar energy to Arizona communities.
2. How was the $30 credit determined?
APS researched other utility programs across the country and spoke with the local solar installer community to determine the value of the roof space and a financial benefit that would be attractive to customers.
3. Will you increase the $30 credit if rates increase?
No, changes to APS rates will not impact the $30 monthly bill credit; it is guaranteed for the entire length of the 20-year program.
4. Who will handle the maintenance of the solar program?
APS and local Arizona installers will be responsible for the installation and maintenance of the system.
5. Will APS cover the cost to have my roof inspected?
APS will inspect each roof to ensure it is structurally sound and has the appropriate orientation for solar panels. APS will cover the cost of this inspection.
6. What happens if I sell my house?
The solar panels stay on the home, and the new owner can choose whether to continue participating in the program.
7. What if I change my mind and want the equipment removed?
APS will pay for system removal once in the 20-year period for normal maintenance. Additionally, if the customer changes their mind or a subsequent owner of the house does not want the system, it will be removed.
8. What if my home gets damaged during the installation? Will APS repair and cover the cost?
If damage is caused by the solar equipment or its installation, APS will pay for the repairs. If the damage is unrelated, APS can remove the solar equipment to clear the way for roof repairs at no cost once during the life of the program.
9. What happens if I use less than $30 of energy in a month?
The remainder of the credit would roll over to the next billing cycle.
10. Can I buy the solar panels from APS later on?
The program will last for 20 years; APS is currently considering what will be done that best impacts its customers after the program ends.
11. Will I be able to net meter?
Each customer and their neighbors will consume the power using the APS grid without the need to net meter. Each participating customer will also still receive the financial benefit of $30 a month.